Sunday, April 25, 2010

Islamic Televangelism: Religion, Media and Visuality in Contemporary Egypt

In the Egyptian hit film Awqaat Faraagh (Leisure Time, 2006), three young college students experience an existential crisis when one of their friends suddenly dies while crossing the street to buy them more beer. Sitting in a souped-up Mercedes Benz filled with hashish smoke and scantily clad girls, the three boys watch in horror as their friend, high and tripping, is hit by a car and immediately falls to the ground, breathing his last with the words: “I am afraid, I am afraid.” Chastened and shocked by this tragedy, they vow to repent their dissolute lifestyles and lead more moral lives. Instead of watching Internet porn, they begin to download and watch together episodes of a religious talk-show by Amr Khaled, an immensely popular Islamic da’iya (activist, “caller” to Islam), who regularly appears on satellite television. MORE HERE

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